Our world is uncertainty compounded by chaos. We need to bring focus and hope to each day.
I abandoned academic surgery because I did not like the way the surgeons treated each other, despite some wonderful exceptions. Research with Lloyd Yonce was a savior. We spent a lovely year together learning about blood flow in the gracillis muscle of the dog. The rheology of blood flow I learned was invaluable with every patient for the rest of my career. And the work was published in "Circulation"as I remember. A follow up was in the "American Journal of Physiology".
I was a Navy medical officer: we all had a military obligation in those days. I started at a nearby recruiting station so I could help finish the work with Lloyd. I volunteered to help at the examining station around the corner where I listened to thousands of hearts and lungs and thereafter could recognize subtle sounds I would have missed otherwise. I loved the Navy, Dad in WWII and Uncle Tommy a submarine commander as later was his son; another cousin was a line officer.
At my next post at the US Naval Hospital in Pensacola, a fellow intern, Frank Collins, said one day when I was struggling to read about a puzzling patient, "Make it make sense to you". That day I began to learn medicine, and Capt. Godwin saw to it that I was able to change course from a return to surgeon and head to the front lines of general practice where I really wanted to be. At my request he sent a colleague who greatly wished to go to St. Albans in my place. Thank you.
My patients taught me, sometimes with great help from other physicians I stopped in the hall or to whom I referred them for problems beyond my expertise. Sadly, patient problems sometimes were beyond their expertise too. "Make it make sense to you" then became the opportunity to learn and help. I wrote about what I learned, honestly, when I thought I had something worthwhile to say, and not because of "publish or perish". I know of no other single author original research paper (done in my office on my patients on my dime) published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Most of my other publications are listed in CV which leaves out countless letters to the editor of newspapers. I remember only one NOT published: someone else wrote in about the same matter and made the point much more eloquently.
My written work is truthful and useful. My journal articles are precise and accurate to the most meticulous academic standards. I am still editing my books as new knowledge and insights flow constantly. Please share YOUR insights and criticisms politely; they will be received with intellectual curiosity and heartfelt appreciation. The hard part of learning is recognizing that what we 'know' may not be wholly so.
John R. Dykers, Jr. MD born 1935 in Jacksonville, Fla. Skinny and a year younger than my classmates at Bolles, but was 110 pound quarterback on our 140 lb limit football team and managed a varsity letter in tennis under coach Jerry Teaguarden. Was salutatorian of my class by .003 points in 5 year grade average both below the valedictorian and above #3! I IQ tested 138 and 145 at Bolles and an aptitude test said I could do anything I wanted to. Turned out I wanted to do family practice in Siler City NC. I also IQ tested 185 at Davidson when being tested to stay in college and not go directly to active duty. (Shows what motivation can do to those test scores.)